March 10th, 2013
This Aggression will not Stand, Man
After a less than satisfactory night’s sleep in our swanky hotel room, the dude was not happy. The dudette was not happy either for that matter. And there was not a beverage involved as the coffee at breakfast was worse than the swill we made with our French press that gave me 3rd degree burns.
Our room was hot and noisy. Ugh. Next to the bar, elevator, stairs, and hallway. Plus it was hot. Ugh.
Not to worry, I was working on my new-found focus of being a zen master.
Luckily, the weather was clearing and we were heading for a partly cloudy day with very little chance for MSSOW (Milford Sound Sheets of Water). There is a national park nearby on a peninsula that has a good 12 km hike that we wanted to do. We packed up our stuff and on the way out of the hotel, Susanne stopped by the front desk to ask if we could get a different room. There was a nice woman that we had not seen before at the desk that was a refreshing change to the surly woman I wanted to punch yesterday. She said she understood and that she would talk to her manager about getting us moved. We should just pack up our stuff and they would move it for us. Nice.
The hike was a one-way trip. You took a catamaran out to the end of the peninsula and hiked the 12 km back. Nice. We got there early, bought our tickets, parked the now very rattly Casimiro on the street, headed to the National Park office and bought our expensive day ticket and then just hung out on the beach enjoying the fact that we were not sitting in MSSOW.
We boarded the boat at about 11 am. We were the only gringos. There were at least 12 pairs of Rayban sunglasses. The aviator style. They are very popular here. I don’t think I’ve seen those in the USA since 1995. The couple across from us on the ride out were annoyingly in love. The must have taken 45,614 pictures of themselves kissing each other and looking really stupid. Good thing I’ve never done that. Susanne! Have we destroyed all the old photos?
It was a slow, but pleasant, boat ride out to the end of the peninsula. We could actually see the tops of the mountains in places!!!!
The hike itself was not that awe-inspiring, but it was a beautiful forest and the exercise felt great. It took about 2.5 hours. We celebrated with an ice cream in town. Yummy.
We headed back to the hotel hoping they had been good to us and moved our room. I was tired and wanted a shower and a nap.
Side note: Naps have been notoriously hard to come by on this trip. Big negative in my book. Just sayin.
Susanne asked the snarly woman from yesterday whether our room had been moved. She said she didn’t know anything about it, but she would ask the manager about it. Ugh. We went up to our room and it was nicely cleaned and our bags were still there. Ugh.
We sat there for a few minutes and I was not a happy camper. The freakin’ hotel is mostly empty and you can’t move us? After a few minutes and the realization that I needed to go back to the car, I headed out. I went up to Casimiro and got some stuff and when I headed back, I just couldn’t help myself.
Now I know I have talked several times about the “pleasant” Spanish and the “how would you like your eyelids wrapped over your head” Spanish, but I have not talked much about English. My Spanish, as forementioned, is a bit, shall we say, ragged and lacking sophistication. However, I have a pretty good command of English. I also have a very good command of body language. I have gained many of these skills over the years in business, and for better or worse, there are times I know to how communicate that I need something. That time had come.
On my way back in to the hotel, I stopped at the front desk to have a chat with my favorite staffer. I asked:
Me: “When are you talking to the manager about our room?”
Her: “Uh, When he gets in”
Me: “When does he get in?”
Her: “I’m not sure”
Me: “Then I suggest that you have two choices, either give me a new room now or call him”
She panics and says ok and runs back to the back with her cell phone and calls him. She comes back and says she can’t give me a new room until she checks everyone in. Now, I may not have a PhD in math, but from my count there were about 15 reservation cards and 46 rooms in the hotel. It seems that there must be a room that was vacant NOW.
She says she has to check with house keeping. I say “our room has been cleaned, just give us another one.” She panics and says she can’t.
I tell her that is unacceptable. She panics. She calls the manager back. She says he’ll be there within the hour. I say I’ll wait in the lobby.
He shows up and talks with my favorite front desk person and then comes over. He looks nervous. Susanne pipes in in Spanish and that helps him relax. I stare at him and he gets nervous. Susanne talks to him in very sweet Spanish (and it is a very beautiful language) and explains how her gringo husband gets crabby when he is hot and doesn’t sleep well. He is very pleasant and says he will work on a new room.
We wait. He takes us down to a lower level and shows us a room. It hasn’t been cleaned and is pretty gross. He realizes he’s really made a big boofer and is very nice to Susanne. We wait in the bar. Everyone is very nice now. The bitchy woman at the front desk asks if we want some coffees. He comes back and gives an upgraded room with a deck down on the lower floor. We say thanks.
The Dude is a wise person and I quote him all the time “This aggression will not stand, man!”. Doesn’t matter what language you speak, the dude will abide.
We enjoyed a nice glass of wine on the deck and our room is cool and quiet.
The weather is holding; life is good.
Ciao for now.